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Róisín Gadelrab’s music news: Koko; The Real Thing; Kitty Durham

10 January, 2020 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Koko was hit by fire on Monday

YEARS ago I worked at Telford’s Warehouse, a beloved music venue in Chester.

The old wooden warehouse building caught fire after a small kitchen blaze and it took seven fire engines to extinguish the flames.

Although its cat, Elbow, was never seen again, and the floor to ceiling vinyl records and newly fitted music studio on the top floor could not be salvaged, no one was hurt and the main building was saved.

As the orange glow rose to the sky, we sat with the regulars on picnic benches outside as they held a vigil for their friendly local – a place where the likes of John Sebastian, Richie Havens, Robert Plant, Coldplay and John Martyn had all played.

We thought it would be a matter of weeks until the roof was fixed and we could return to our jobs, but it took a year to deal with, not only the effects of the fire, but the associated smoke and water damage.

Luckily this week’s fire at Camden’s beloved Koko may have taken the iconic dome, but we understand the main building has been saved.

It will rise again and continue to host the musicians that people flock to Camden to see.

It is currently under construction, so hopefully this will make the repairs easier.

I just hope that the ornate interior and stunning balconies will have evaded serious smoke and water damage.

• Kitty Durham (above), of Kentish Town trio Kitty Daisy & Lewis, plays a solo show at Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues, St. Moritz Club, Wardour Street, on Jan 16.

• January is an important time for fans of David Bowie, being both the month that he was born and when he died, and so venues all over London are celebrating the beloved singer. Tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow, Translatlantic Ensemble present Bowie Night at the Jazz Cafe, bringing together some of its favourite musicians to present a night of music charting Bowie’s creative output, from pop legend to alien oddity and everything in between.

UK soul pioneers The Real Thing have been going for nearly 50 years. Original members Chris Amoo and Dave Smith play a special show at the Jazz Cafe on Jan 14 to promote new Best Of collection and latest single Someone Oughta Write A Song (About You Baby).

• Fieldwave curator Nick Luscombe hosts Spiritland’s deep listening night on Jan 14, bringing together a new wave of artists with field recording at the heart of their work, with talks and playbacks and featuring Kate Carr, Tuulikki Bartosik, Iain Chambers, Dave Bamford and For Now. The event coincides with the release of Fieldwave on Nonclassical, a record label presenting the best new classical, experimental and electronic music.

British blues band Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack play a 50th anniversary show at 100 Club on Jan 15. The gig is part of the January Blues Festival (Jan 15-31), taking place in various venues including 100 Club, Islington Assembly Hall and Under The Bridge and featuring distinguished artists including: Mud Morganfield, Dr Feel Good, Otis Grand, Popa Chubby, Oli Brown, Son of Dave, Ben Poole, Deborah Bonham, Bernie Marsden and many more.

• Notable gigs this week: Harrison Whitford (below), Lexington (Jan 15); Aries (above), Camden Assembly (Jan 16).


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